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  • Writer's pictureHannah Pearson

Hannah in Berlin Ep. 2: "Back to Schule"

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Spoilers For: Nothing!





FLASHBACK INT. MAGGIE VANN ELEMENTARY - DAY (1998)


HANNAH (8) curls up on the examination table in the School nurse’s office. A thermometer peaks out of her mouth as the humid Arkansas air has her legs sticking to the vinyl padding.


The thermometer emits a BEEP BEEP BEEP .


MRS. FIDDLER (40s), PTO President and nurse-for-a-day, comes over and pulls it out of Hannah’s mouth. She looks at it for a beat.


MRS. FIDDLER

Ninety-seven. You’re fine. Go back to class.


HANNAH

(Clutching her stomach)

But..but..but Mrs. Fiddler, my tummy hurts.


MRS. FIDDLER

I’m sure. Just like last week’s toothache, and yesterday’s ear infection?

Ms. Pearson stop trying to miss class everyday.

You’re gonna be in school a long time, get use to it.


FLASHBACK EXT. ARKANSAS BACK COUNTRY - BLUE PICKUP - NIGHT (2008)


Hannah (now 18), has a high school graduation robe on, unzipped, with party clothes underneath. She sticks her head out the passenger side window as BROOK (19), Hannah’s Bestie4lyfe, drives erratically.


COUNTRY MUSIC blares from the truck’s speakers.


HANNAH

(Screaming out the window)

I’M FUCKING DONE WITH SCHOOL FOREVER!!!!


FLASHBACK INT. HANNAH’S MOTHER’S HOUSE - DAY (2013)


Hannah, (now 23) in a college graduation robe, sits at the dining room table eating a slice of sheet cake that says “Congratulations” on it. Her GRANDMOTHER (85) turns to her.


GRANDMOTHER

Still thinking about law school next year?


HANNAH

Grandma, I’d rather die than step foot in another classroom.


INT. HANNAH’S BERLIN APARTMENT - MORNING (PRESENT DAY)


The alarm BEEPS loudly, blinking SIX AM. Hannah (now 32), springs out of bed.


QUICK MONTAGE: She brushes her teeth. Frets over two outfit choices. Shoots an espresso and races out the door.


Her phone BUZZES


Superimposed: Text from Susie: Ready?


Hannah texts back: Dude, I’m so fucking pumped.


FADE OUT.



My master’s program started this month, my entire (legal) reason to be in Berlin, and for the first time in my life I can utter the phrase: I am enjoying school.


OG fans of the show are probably seething on the message boards. I mean, is this authentic for my character development? My entire shtick has been the class clown, always in trouble, and straight up just too cool for school. Never was there a day when the child actor playing young Hannah was told to walk out the front door, backpack in tow, with a smile on her face.


Graduating high school must have been an act of God after being threatened with expulsion three times. Going to college was a fluke, with no intentions to finish. The plan included a couple semesters to throw off my parents and then jump my small town’s ship when no one was looking. But routines are weirdly seductive and before I knew it the school gave me a degree. I still question if it’s real.


The first one was expected. The second a surprise. Now it’s trilogy?! AND I am not feigning a sore throat or counting down the days till Christmas break.


What gives?


……I genuinely like what I’m studying.


That’s it. That was the secret ingredient I was missing the whole time. Crazy, right?


While both high school and college had blips of engaging moments, I was always biding my time until I could go home and watch movies. It only took me thirty-two years to realizes I could combine the two.


My cute little school has some logistics problems and don’t ask me about the schedule, but so far it’s the closest I have ever been to the world I have always coveted. Everyday I walk past real sets where things are being filmed by professionals. I'm growing my network and honing my skills. There is access to people I admire--last week I got to meet Anna Wringer. Seriously, anyone who knew me in Spring of 2020 knew I would NOT shut up about Unorthodox. (Shira Haas was robbed!!!!)


Each department has some insane talent. Most of them are Europeans, so I feel like Wal-Mart in a room full of Chanel, BUT I don’t feel insecure about what I bring to the table. I am here to write. I’ll hold a boom mic or speak a few lines of dialogue into the camera, but slinging out hot crispy scripts ready to be devoured is what will have my classmates yelling “YES CHEF” at me.


And okay, the character development has been strange but this show isn’t Friends, people! I don’t want to write my characters so far into their tropes that they become cartoons. Seriously, how was Joey not institutionalized by the eighth season!?


It’s good to flip the script. My character needed a new arc for this season and falling into a vat of unbridled ambition facilitated by grad school was the direction the writers chose.


Already a few weeks have flown by and we can see plots naturally developing for both myself and the supporting cast. No villains but plenty of fan favorites. We’re still in Act I and it’s going to be a long year so let’s not rush any storylines. There is time for moments to land. There is room for anticipation. Intents and obstacles are making themselves known.


But it’s gonna be a fun season. I can promise that.



Now if you don’t mind, I am going to go (happily) do homework.




What Do You Think of this Character Arc?



*******The author knows she is not actually in a TV show. This is only implied as part of the theme of the article series and as an attempt at humor. Please don’t put me in an institution.











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